The winter can be a severe couple of months on your landscaping, harming trees and shrubs, cracking walkways, and drying out decks. That’s why it’s essential that everything is properly maintained before cold weather and snow hit. After you’ve spent all summer long perfecting your back or front yard hardscaping, don’t let it all go down the drain by not taking the necessary precautions and ensuring that everything is sealed and protected.
Wood and Composite Materials
From decking to fences or other wood landscape designs, ensuring that everything is safe and secure through the winter can take out a lot of extra work to repair in the spring.
- Clean Surfaces: If there was a lot of rain in the fall, it might have left behind dirt and mud in the creases of your wood designs. This will give mold and mildew an opportunity to form on decks and roofs. Clean away any dirt or leaves from the surfaces.
- Check for Weakness or Damages: When moisture seeps inside cracks or loose screws in wood, it will only make existing damages worse. Check for any loose boards or handrails and tighten any nails or screws.
- Apply Stains: When the landscaping design is first completed, it’s an essential step that all surfaces are stained and sealed to prevent damage to the wood. Many professionals will recommend two coats of oil-based stains. Formulas made with oil will keep moisture out but still allow them to breathe, keeping it healthy and safe through the winter.
- Water Repellent Testing: If your wood designs were built and treated a few years ago, it’s necessary to test how well the sealant is still working. Simply spray some water on the wood and if is absorbed into the wood, it needs to be restained.
Concrete or Stone Materials
Although these materials are much more durable and resistant to weather, snow storms can still cause stone, brick, or concrete to crack, split, or break.
- Get a Good Deicer: Ice is inevitable in Independence so if you have a patio in the back, make sure to get some quality deicer. Rock salt and calcium chloride will both eat away at concrete, leaving you with expensive landscaping repairs in the spring. Instead, select a deicer with potassium chloride, CMA, or just plain sand. If you don’t want to take the time yourself, learn about our snow and ice removal services.
- Throw Out the Metal Shovel: We understand wanting to get down to the surface when shoveling snow, but metal shovels can get caught on any edges and break up the surface. A shovel with rubberized edges will still get the job done, but will be easier on the surface.
- Fill Cracks Before Snow Hits: Just like cracks or creases in wood, cracks or holes in concrete should be repaired before snow and moisture can enter them. When water freezes and thaws several times, any holes will only be made worse.
- Level the Surface: Surfaces that are uneven can cause harm in several ways, either by catching shovels or becoming a tripping hazard when they are covered in snow. Our landscaping service can help you get a professional surface that will be strong and durable.
- Sealants With Grit: For an even more efficient sealant for your hardscape, find a product with grit mixed in. These products can be used in areas of high traffic and will give better traction which is easier to walk on.
- Store Items Inside: Certain landscaping items should be taken outside or winterized to protect them from breaking. If possible, move statues inside or protect them with a weather barrier. Read this previous blog post for information on how to winterize your water feature.
Maintaining and protecting your landscape doesn’t have to be time-consuming, but it does need to be thorough. If you want to avoid any expensive repairs in the spring, it’s important to give your yard a good once over to ensure that everything is safe and protected for the next couple of months. Give TLC Nursery & Outdoor Living a call for professional and reliable services.